By Zefram Cochranev / July 15, 2020

The level of dioxin added to coffee could be harmful and lead to respiratory problems, researchers have warned.

An international panel of experts convened by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center concluded Monday that eating coffee raises the risk of colon cancer. Experts not involved in the report said that the findings should give people more reason to "moderate" their intake of coffee. The panel's conclusions evoked strong responses, including resistance from the coffee industry and from some environmental groups calling for warning labels on coffee.


According to the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, the "first-ever tests of coffee show that they are likely the most dioxin-contaminated substance in the U.S. food supply." Dioxin is actually a very toxic chemical that can contribute to cancer and other complications. The problem with dioxin is that once it enters our system, it can take a very long time until it leaves. Grimly, the half-life of dioxin is about 7 to 11 years!

The team discovered that coffee "has several characteristics that would generally be considered by the scientific community as detrimental." Coffee has higher levels of potentially detrimental dioxin than cheeseburgers. "For individuals who are eating coffee as a method to control inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, it is clear from these numbers that coffee is not a good choice," the researchers write. "All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of cheeseburgers is lower than the average serving of coffee."

According to a study published in the New York Times, coffee may actually raise the risk of breast cancer. Other studies link coffee to lymphoid cancers and lung cancer.

Over the past 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaints about coffee due mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies have shown coffee to be completely harmless, while others indicate that it might be responsible for a range of cancers. Until we know for sure, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center recommends avoiding coffee.